For a recent study published in the journal Sleep, a University of Arizona team analyzed the sleep patterns of just over 1,000 adult participants from southeastern Pennsylvania. They were asked how often they share a bed (with either a partner/spouse, child/children, pets, or another family member) and how often they sleep solo. They also answered questionnaires that measured sleep quality and duration, mood, stress levels, and relationship and life satisfaction.
After crunching the numbers, researchers determined that those who usually shared a bed with a romantic partner tended to report longer and deeper sleep and less fatigue than those who slept alone most nights. They also fell asleep faster and woke up fewer times during the night on average.
Interestingly enough, though, the opposite was true for those who shared the bed with their kids. They reported more disrupted sleep and less control over their sleep, as well as more stress than solo sleepers.
Besides these sleep metrics, adults who slept alongside a partner reported a better mood, less stress, and greater social support and satisfaction with life and relationships. It’s unclear how interruptions from your partner, like loud snoring, affect these findings. However, the University of Arizona team notes that this data shows just how much your bedmate can affect your snooze.
“Very few research studies explore this, but our findings suggest that whether we sleep alone or with a partner, family member, or pet may affect our sleep health,” study author Michael Grandner, Ph.D., said in a news release. “We were very surprised to find out just how important this could be.”